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  • My maternal Grandfather, the one who was really grand and one we had the privilege of knowing when we were small, was the Patriarch of his family. He was a large, looming figure in our little lives who was respected and could not be escaped, especially if one was not striving to be a "better person", according to him.

    If he found you reading or playing or excercising or discussing great ideas or helping in some kind of household activity, you were growing as per his requirements. But God forbid if he saw your engaged in some trivial activity like gossip, watching some mindless show or movie (again as per him), or generally fooling around with siblings or friends, you were immediately reprimanded. It started with the activty and ended up in a long discussion of how things were done when he was young to how we were wasting our youth.

    We kids never questioned his authority and we were in no position to, especially when we saw our moms, aunts and uncles scramble to meet his approval. So it was to our great shock that we found him liking a song that was churned out of the Bollywood machine in 90s, a typical commonplace-lyrics-but-good-music kinds. He had heard it wafting from a neighbor's radio and had liked it instantly. We caught him humming it in his room as he was reading, red-handed! When we showed our surprise and shock, he totally laughed and said "Ofcourse, I like good music and I am not THAT bad".

    And then just as he had easily laughed, he told us to get back to being useful so that he could continue reading.

    Note: Old Man Painting by Krishnamurti (Antropus) Costa
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